The very word ‘housework’ is enough to make one shudder, not to mention the thought of facing the mammoth task of taming that garden you’ve neglected for so long, which now resembles more like the Amazon rainforest.
But let me dispel this feeling of resentment and hatred, and humbly transform it into a feeling of (perhaps not love) but at least ‘like’.
The reasons are two-fold. Firstly, the feeling of satisfaction when it’s done: because it does, after all, have to be done. And secondly, the exercise is incredible. Housework provides tremendous health benefits, both physical and mental, that must not be sniffed at.
A new phenomenon has emerged as a result: the ‘Housework-out’. Don’t be afraid, this does not involve strapping on a leotard, headband and trainers. It asks of you only one thing, to do the chores with that little more oomph.
Whilst working all the major body groups including your legs, buttocks, arms, shoulders, back, abdomen and neck, housework and gardening can lead not only to a more toned and slender figure, but can lead to increased flexibility, stronger joints and a decrease in blood pressure and cholesterol. Not bad, ey?
But remember, the more effort you put in, the more benefit you get out. Try to avoid taking too many shortcuts. For instance, keep the laundry basket on the floor when ironing, so that you bend and stretch to reach the clothes. Similarly, don’t pile things at the bottom of the stairs; take items up individually as and when, for a great aerobic workout. The best tip of all is to listen to music. Prancing around to your favourite tracks will make you move more, and it’ll make you feel pretty good too. Just 20 minutes of vigorous housework or gardening every day will do – and no dreaded gym in sight. Perfect.
However, arguably the best outcome of the Housework-out is not physical, but psychological. Both you and your house now look fabulous, which will lead to a nice little boost in your self-esteem. The B&Q TV advert springs to mind… you will put down your feather duster and trowel, smile and say; “I did that”. Hey presto, you have what I like to call a calmer karma.
Turning your housework into a workout means you no longer have to feel guilty about not being able to squeeze the exercise in. You are also multi tasking, so you have the time (and the money you save from not going to the gym) to enjoy your clean and happy home and garden. A clean and well-kept home will no doubt create a magnificent ripple effect across all aspects of your life.
So give it a go. The worst that can happen is that you end up with a tidier home and flawless garden. But, most likely the Housework-out will leave you fit and fabulous, as well as happy and more confident, too.